Enkianthus companulatus ‘Red Bells’

‘Red Bells’ close-up

Purchased at the HPSO spring sale in 2006, Enkianthus companulatus ‘Red Bells’ has lived in a pot all this time.

‘Red Bells’ in its pot

We have determined that this must be the year of its liberation, so we have been moving it around from place to place, trying to determine the perfect spot where we can enjoy the subtle coloration of its bell-shaped flowers and still give it the little bit of shade it craves.

hand truck

A hand truck comes in mighty handy at times like these. I can move big, heavy pots around with ease, all by myself, using this little garden buddy.

‘Red Bells’ at Portland Nursery

The plant tag said that this small tree would top out at 8′, but the one in the display garden at the Stark Street Portland Nursery is more like 12′ at 27 years of age. My tendency is always to plant things too closely. I will use this information to try to mend my ways and give this beauty plenty of elbow room. It is a relative of Rhododendrons, so we know what it likes. Richard gives his Rhody’s a yearly dose of cottonseed and plants them high, with lots of grit in the hole for good drainage. I’m pretty sure ‘Red Bells’ will thank us with years of May into June blossoms and fall color.

9 thoughts on “Enkianthus companulatus ‘Red Bells’

  1. Now, that’s a good looking small tree. I like the loose open branches , much nicer than the heavy Rhody’s…sorry Richard.
    I think I need a garden buddy…

  2. What’s with this crazy thinking long term thing? “My tendency is always to plant things too closely. I will use this information to try to mend my ways and give this beauty plenty of elbow room”…you’re scaring me.

    I can’t wait until someone looks at my Loquat and says that I planted it too close to the house. Yes I know it will get BIG but that’s where I wanted it!!! (I just pray my husband isn’t around when it happens)

  3. Linda~We got this garden buddy at a garage sale, but Home Depot is good too.

    Loree~Influenced by the resident digger, who has had some back-breaking sessions correcting my mistakes. Give it a few years: you’ll come around.

  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has trouble with spacing. [I’m in denial.] We’ll learn won’t we? Maybe. I love the cheery bells on this Enkianthus. Nice hand truck you’ve got to tote it around. Have fun. Happy 4th.

  5. Grace~Had to check with Portland Nursery to make sure this one was really called ‘Red Bells’ because they definitely look more PINK to me.

  6. Your Enkianthus is a pretty little thing. Since you’re being so resolute about space allotment, I hope it grows nice and big to fit! I bought myself a little handtruck several years ago at Harbor Freight, home of all things cheap and Chinese-made. It’s been well worth the modest outlay and is holding up nicely.

  7. Jane~It will probably take Enki a year or two to get over the transplant shock, but then I expect her to fill in nicely. We will surround her with easier to move shrubs and perennials in the meantime.

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